The stakes are big in this election, and there isn't even a president to vote for. But make no mistake, the way Idaho looks, sounds and feels will change after you vote on November 7.
From laws about how you live with your significant other, to laws about how we pay for school, to candidates that will represent us here at home and out in Washington, D.C., it's all there on your ballot next week.
About three weeks ago BW mailed off questionnaires to candidates running in the larger statewide races, including both Congressional districts and the office of governor and lieutenant governor, and the Legislative races closest to Boise's center.
We weren't trying to reinvent the wheel here; we wanted candidates to answer what we considered to be some basic questions on issues that are on people's minds. We also asked them some quirky questions that we thought would help provide a better picture of the candidates. The whole idea was to provide something for voters to tote along with them to the ballot box next week, as a quick reference. We'll be the first to admit this isn't comprehensive; although BW has written extensively about the Ada County Commission race, we ran out of room for these candidates in our pages this issue. Nor do we have the space for state controller or state treasurer races. We're not saying those races are unimportant. But for information on those races, you'll need to look at the Idaho Secretary of State's excellent Web site www.idahovotes.gov, as well as the voter's pamphlet provided by that office.
Our methods were simple: we shipped surveys to candidates through the mail, to the addresses provided by the Secretary of State. Responses came by e-mail, by fax and by phone. Some never came.
We asked for "complete and concise" answers to our questions, and told candidates space was limited. Some delivered short answers. Some responses bordered on essay length. Where space got tight, we edited answers down to a "Yes" or a "No," regrettably. We appreciate those candidates who tried to explain their votes, but space is king in newspaper planning.
Reading this guide is one step. The next comes on November 7, when you take some time to actually throw a vote down. Thanks for participating.